Forced to quit football due to injury, former Indian national team player Prathamesh Maulingkar just became Mr India
The ex-Dempo footballer has emerged as one of India's biggest fitness icons in India.
What's the story?
The Bandra Fort in Mumbai was abuzz with a lot of anticipation as the title of Mr.India 2017 and Mr India Supranational 2017 was due to be announced. While Lucknow-born Jignesh Singh Deo won the title of Mr India 2017, Prathamesh Maulingkar clinched the title of 'Mr. India Supranational 2017'.
Prathamesh Maulingkar, a fitness model from Goa has been making good impressions in the modelling industry for a long time after an unfortunate injury during his teenage years forced him to quit his footballing career and take up fashion as a career.
In case you didn't know
Born on the 4th of April 1991, Prathamesh turned out to be just like any other Indian kid, who aspires to be a cricketer some day. However, he soon shifted his focus to football and his skill took him to the I-League where he played for the now-defunct Pailan Arrows.
Prathamesh also has the unique achievement of being the only Asian footballer to have featured on the cover of a health and fitness magazine and was also seen on MTV’s popular reality show Splitsvilla, in Season 8.
Heart of the Matter
A natural when it came to the sport of football, the Goa-born centre back started his football career with the U-16 Dempo team where he gained recognition and earned a call-up to the Goa U19 team for the junior nationals.
Soon enough, his talent was recognised by the national selectors, who selected him for the India U-19 camp. His major break came when he debuted for the Paillan Arrows in the I-League against his former team Dempo but scored his first goal against the Churchill Brothers that season.
That year, he also made his debut for the India U23 team against Iraq while playing in the qualifiers ahead of the 2013 AFC U22 Asian Championship. However, an injury forced him to quit football and take up fitness modelling as a career.
A fitness freak, who has worked very hard to get to the stage he is at currently, he is an ardent fan of Christiano Ronaldo and claims to have been inspired by the Real Madrid star's hard work and dedication.
Having won the title of Mr India Supranational 2017, Prathamesh will go on to represent India at the Mister Supranational 2018 pageant in Poland later next year.
Injuries are a part and parcel of a sportspersons life and it is good to see that Prathamesh took the opportunity to make a mark in some other field after his career in football was cut short.